Electric Vehicles

Roland Gumpert introduces Nathalie, a road-legal, methane-powered electric super sports car

Photo courtesy of Roland Gumpert

Famed race car driver Roland Gumpert is back in the sports car space. This time, it's with his own company (they share a name) and a unique creation - something that's hard to find in the auto space these days. Meet Nathalie, a road-legal electric super sports car with performance handling that runs on methane. Yes, methane.

The car, which is named after one of Gumpert's daughters, was first shown as a prototype in 2018, but is now ready for production, as a 2021 model.

2021 Roland Gumpert Nathalie

Photo courtesy of Roland Gumpert

Messaging from the company says that the model is, "an uncompromising electric super sports car. It is one of the fastest and most dynamic sports cars you can drive with a license plate on a normal road."

The car is slated to achieve 536 horsepower and get from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. It has a top speed of 190 mph and a claimed range of over 300 miles in spirited driving situations. It is said to have nearly double the range when drivers choose to drive more conservatively using Eco mode.

Where does that power come from? It comes from methane.

In the Toyota Mirai, a fuel cell-electric powertrain uses hydrogen to move the car along the road. The concept with the Nathalie is similar, only instead of hydrogen, the car uses methane. It has a 17.1-gallon methanol tank.

Methane is an abundant resource on Earth, most noted recently because of its existence as a byproduct of the digestion process of cows. BMW is also exploring the possibilities of methane, utilizing the manure from a farm in California.

How does a methanol fuel cell work? | Gumpert Nathalie | Roland Gumpert www.youtube.com

Roland Gumpert will begin producing the model in early 2021, producing just 500 of them at first and they will be labeled First Edition models. The price tag sits at approximately $460,000.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

V2V communication allows vehicles to connect to each other.

Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

You might not have gotten in an accident if you know the road ahead of you was covered with ice. You may have known that the road was covered with ice if that digital sign you pass on the highway had a message announcing slippery conditions ahead.

A new partnership between Volvo and Waycare Technologies will enable data from Volvo's Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert to be anonymously shared with transportation municipalities and Waze.

Starting with 2021 model year vehicles, Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert will allow certain Volvo cars to communicate with each other. The models will be able to automatically alert other Volvo drivers via a cloud-based network when the vehicle's hazard lights are turned on or low friction is detected, and the system is properly connected to the internet.

Volvo Waycare Technologies Waze safety communication Information sharing between cars can give a driver more knowledge about the unknowns of the roadway ahead.Photo courtesy of Volvo Car USA

This isn't the first time the system has been implemented. It was introduced in 2016 on 90 Series cars in Sweden and Norway.

Hazard Light Alert and Slippery Road Alert now come as standard equipment on all model year 2021 Volvo cars sold in the U.S. Owners will be able to choose to activate the features via the car's infotainment screen and can opt-out/deactivate them at any time.

In addition to road conditions, the Daycare partnership allows Volvos to share data with other sources including city infrastructure, telematics, and weather forecasts.

Behind the scenes, Waycare will then use artificial intelligence to synthesize the data and provide operational insights local U.S. transportation industries (think: New York State Thruway Authority, your local public works department, and the Michigan State Police). Using the information, agencies can choose to push notifications to drivers using the 5-1-1 system, social media, or a series of road sign alerts.

"Sharing real-time safety data between cars can help avoid accidents," said Malin Ekholm, head of Volvo Cars Safety Center. "Volvo owners directly contribute to making roads safer for other drivers that enable the feature, while they also benefit from early warnings to potentially dangerous conditions ahead."

Connected safety data-sharing between Volvo cars is available throughout the U.S. Connected safety data sharing with Waycare and its partners is currently available at locations where Waycare has their traffic Management Platform including Nevada, Central Ohio, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina, Utah, San Francisco/Bay Area, and western Florida. Waycare has plans to expand to other areas in the future.

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Porsche has allowed prying eyes into its archives to see some previously unseen concept cars.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

A car's journey from paper to dealership lot is longer than most probably realize, with each generation taking the better part of a decade to bring to fruition. Before a car becomes a car, it's a prototype. Before it's a prototype, it's a concept car. Stretching back even further, there's models and drawings.

Porsche has hidden a number of its concept cars away from the prying eyes of the public for years and only recently opened the proverbial vault of treasures. Here's what was found, with descriptions by Porsche.

Porsche 919 Street

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The Porsche 919 Street (2017; 1:1 clay model) was developed on the basis of the technology used in the Porsche 919 Hybrid, promising to make the exhilarating driving experience of the LMP1 race car available to amateur drivers. Under the outer shell are the carbon monocoque and powerful 900 PS hybrid racing drivetrain that helped the Porsche 919 to achieve numerous victories at Le Mans. The dimensions and wheelbase were also the same as on the race car.

Porsche Vision Spyder

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

With its spartan, puristic cockpit, the characteristic radiator grilles over the mid engine, red graphic elements and the suggested fins at the rear, the compact Porsche Vision Spyder (2019; 1:1 hard model) clearly calls to mind the Porsche 550-1500 RS Spyder from 1954. At the same time, the study was intended to further develop the design identity of Porsche and provide a pool of ideas for future details – for example, the ultra-modern roll bar.

Porsche vision “Renndienst”

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The Porsche vision "Renndienst" (2018; 1:1 hard model) is the free interpretation of a family-friendly space concept for up to six persons. The design team designed a futuristic "space shuttle" with exciting proportions. The study shows how the Porsche design DNA with its characteristic surface modelling can be transferred to an unknown vehicle segment for the brand. In the interior, passengers find a comfortable and modular travel cabin. The driver sits in a central driver's seat. The all-electric drive technology is located in the underbody. As a result, passengers can enjoy an unexpectedly generous space and travel experience combined with Porsche-like flair.

Porsche 906 Living Legend (2015)

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

In this vision of a super sports car, the Porsche 906 (2015; 1:1 hard model) provided the proportions and design cues. Particularly innovative is the visual impression of the car being two bodies pushed into each other. The gap between the elements serves as a ventilation duct for a powerful mid-engine.

Porsche Vision 918 RS

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The Porsche 918 Spyder (2019; 1:1 hard model) was a milestone as the first hybridised super sports car from Weissach. In 2019 the designers created a new fascinating evolutionary stage of the 918. With further developed drive and chassis technology as well as an aerodynamically perfected body, the Porsche Vision 918 RS would once again set standards on the road and racing track.

Porsche Vision 920

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

How to combine the formal language of Porsche's road sports cars with the functional design of a prototype racing car? With the Porsche Vision 920 (2019; 1:1 hard model) the design team has created an extreme hypercar. The aerodynamically optimised body and the central cockpit blur the boundaries between racing track and road.

Porsche Vision E

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

In Formula E, the technology of the future is tested under high performance and pushed to its limits. Based on the Porsche 99X Electric, the design team developed a radically light single-seater racing car for private racers called the Porsche Vision E (2019; 1:1 hard model). The fully electric driving experience should be breathtaking.

Porsche 919 Street

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

With the Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche has won the 24 hours of Le Mans three times. Based on the LMP1 racing car, Michael Mauer and his team developed this vision of a special series for private racing drivers called the Porsche 919 Street (2017; 1:1 clay model)

Porsche 917 Living Legend

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

At the wheel of the Porsche 917 KH in the red and white livery of Porsche Salzburg, Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood won the first overall victory for Porsche at Le Mans in the summer of 1970. When Porsche returned to the LMP1 sport in 2013, the team in Weissach developed a modern interpretation of the winning car of yesteryear. The Porsche 918 Spyder served as the technical inspiration for the Porsche 917 Living Legend (2013; 1:1 clay model). "In the super sports cars from Porsche, you always have the feeling of practically sitting on the road between the high wheel arches," says Michael Mauer. "We wanted to emphasise this even further."

Want to see more? The previously unpublished design studies are being presented exclusively by the Porsche Newsroom in a series of articles. The 9:11Magazine web TV format has also dedicated an episode to selected studies and examines the connection between the studies and the current production models together with Porsche Chief Designer Michael Mauer. For fans of the brand, the book entitled "Porsche Unseen" has been released by Delius Klasing.

Porsche Unseen - The Book www.youtube.com

A selection of studies will also be on display later for fans to admire live: the Porsche Museum will be integrating the models in the exhibition in 2021.

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